Limiting sysadmin functionality prior to activation on FreePBX 13

I seriously disagree with doing this. I could write a bunch of hyperbole about holding users hostage/slippery slope/trixbox, and come off sounding like an ungrateful jerk, but instead here’s a quick list of reasons it’s bad for me:

  • You are forcing me to put in personal information for every install. Now you simply won’t get any accurate information, except where you would have gotten it prior to this change.
  • For those using FreePBX personally, now you’re asking for personal information from them. Even if they never buy a commercial module, you want at least their email address. There is zero functional need for this.
  • This will not increase legitimate activations. Those users who DO need to activate will (and always have). Users who don’t need to activate will suddenly be forced to (after what I’m sure will be a confusing few minutes where they can’t touch network or f2b settings, for instance). At this point, they either move to something that doesn’t have this requirement, or give fake/incomplete information. It becomes an unnecessary hurdle.
  • All of my testing installs need to be activated to have a testable amount of functionality. Again, you will not receive accurate installation information as a result of this. It’s just a hoop to jump through.
  • Were trying to sell more modules and I’ve personally turned lots of people onto the project. I will have a hard time continuing this if it looks like this is where things are headed. If I need to add “give your email address to some corporation in order to use ‘FreePBX’”, I’ll look elsewhere.

This is outside of the whole “this is freePBX wtf are you thinking” topic, which isn’t something I want to get into. I’m honestly bummed. This isn’t where I hoped to see things going. The vast majority of what we do requires activation; I don’t mind doing it in the least. Selling modules was an awesome way to finally give something back. Now I feel like I’m signing up for a mobile phone contract just to install FreePBX.